USC Rossier Professor Royel Johnson has been selected to be a member of the prestigious American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Foundation’s Diamond Honoree Class of 2024. Johnson will be among the group of 18 individuals who will be recognized during the ACPA convention that will take place March 18-21, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.
Founded in 1924, ACPA is an internationally recognized association for student affairs and higher education professionals. Considered one of the association's highest recognitions, the ACPA Diamond Award recognizes colleagues who have made sustained outstanding contributions to ACPA, student affairs and services, and higher education for 10 or more years.
“I’m deeply honored to be recognized in this way by ACPA, an association I’ve called a professional home for more than a decade,” said Johnson. “I share this honor with every collaborator, student, and study participant I've partnered with throughout the years to center and advance equity and justice in higher education and student affairs.”
Diamond Honorees are nominated or “championed” by individuals who have recognized the nominee’s specific contributions to the field and choose to raise funds in honor of that nominee’s “outstanding and sustained commitment to higher education through student affairs and student development.” Funds are used to sustain the ACPA Foundation’s support of research, scholarship and programs that advance the field as a whole.
Johnson was championed by Dr. Terrell Stayhorn, Vice Provost and Professor of Education and Psychology from Virginia Union University. In his nomination letter they said, “Dr. Johnson’s voice has quickly emerged on issues of college access, diversity and student success and already he has made “outstanding” and useful contributions to the student affairs profession and higher education enterprise through teaching, research and service leadership. He’s very well-deserving of this honor.”
A tenured professor at USC Rossier School of Education, Johnson holds a joint appointment in the USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. He is chair of the PhD in education program and is director of the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates in the USC Race and Equity Center, the nation’s leading tool for assessing campus racial climates. Johnson is a nationally-recognized expert on college access, student success, as well as campus climate and culture change for racial equity in higher education. A productive scholar with over 50 academic publications, Johnson is lead editor of Racial Equity on College Campuses: Connecting Research and Practice. He also serves as co-editor of Educational Researcher, the flagship journal for the American Education Research Association.
“A leader who serves with heart and integrity, this is a well-deserved honor for Royel,” said USC Rossier Dean Pedro Noguera. “USC Rossier focuses on advancing educational equity and ensuring every student and educator across the nation receives the personalized support and resources they need to succeed. Much of that work focuses on providing a safe and healthy environment for education to take place. Royel’s research on that subject is highly influential and has undoubtedly improved the quality of education for thousands. USC Rossier is proud of Royel Johnson and congratulates him for this extraordinary achievement.”